California’s northern coast holds many secrets. The foggy landscape is full of imposing mountains, windswept beaches, and valleys that rival the hollows of the Smokies in terms of narrow inaccessibility. Bigfoot is rumored to live in the area, and somewhere the world’s tallest living being, a coast redwood (Sequoia sempervirens) named "Hyperion," stands witness to the passage of more than two thousand years.
NPT Reviews of Books and other Material
A collection of book reviews to help you pick the perfect read for your national park escape
Stephen R. Brown published his World War II Memorial photo book a full three years ago this month, but it somehow never ended up on the Traveler’s Fireside Read list. It’s high time to fix that, so let’s just dispense with the “better late than never” weasel-speak and get on with it.
Quite a bit has been written on the geologic underpinnings of Yellowstone National Park, particularly the aspect of the park sitting atop a gigantic volcano. The latest window into this world, from Greg Breining, is a good read for the lay volcanologist with an interest in the park.
I know, this doesn't sound like a park-related read, but it's based around the livelihoods of lobstermen who settled on and around Mount Desert Island more than a century ago.
You ever wonder where place names originate? I mean, Hog Key Campsite in Everglades National Park? And University Dock in Biscayne National Park? What were they thinking?
Tucked away where northwestern Colorado and northeastern Utah converge, Dinosaur National Monument is a remote, oft-overlooked place. Writer Hal Crimmel and photographer Steve Gaffney give it substance and definition.
It's hard to beat a bird book that offers you an opportunity not only to see what they look like but to actually hear the birds' calls and songs. Bird Songs From Around the World does just that, but it might not be your best option.
With sound recorder in hand, I had looked to the book "Wild Soundscapes" to help me figure out the details of creating a really great field recording of my visits to the parks. The book met some of my expectations, but fell short of others. I thought the best part of the book was the included audio CD; whales in Alaska, coyotes in New Mexico, and elk in Yellowstone. Read on for the details.
After Mr. Blevins passed away, park staff began to notice unusual things at the Blevins Farmstead. More than one ranger reported getting the "willies" while at Oscar’s farm. One hot summer evening, a ranger was unsaddling a horse inside the corral behind the barn when his hair stood up on end. Someone was watching him.
Camping in comfort! Who wouldn't want to? Here, I thought, was a book made for me, one that would provide the hints necessary to have an even more comfortable experience in the great outdoors than what I had grown accustomed to the past four decades.
Death is the final appointment we can't avoid, the one we most regret. And yet we're fascinated with tragic deaths such as those that occur in the parks. Indeed, posts on this site about deaths in the parks draw large readership. For those fascinated by such stories, Off the Wall: Death in Yosemite is a must-read.
Climbing to the precipice of Half Dome is not a task easily done, nor one that should be lightly considered. That much I think is a given to anyone who has accomplished the day-long hike, or anyone who has read or heard of the tragedies that have taken place on this famous outcrop of granite.
No electronics, just an old-fashioned book that sparks youngsters' imaginations, is the driving force behind Tedrick de Bear's travels across the national park system. Teddy's Travels, America's National Parks, is an award-winning book by Trefoni Michael Rizzi that teaches kids a little something about the parks while they're enjoying them.
Just in time for summer's backpacking and camping season, The Last Season has arrived in paperback. I reviewed this book a year ago shortly after it hit the market in a hardcover-edition and it's well-worth your time if you like a true-life mystery involving a legendary backcountry ranger in Kings Canyon National Park.
Most of us, I think, envision the creation of national parks as a process intended to preserve spectacular beauty or a poignant moment in history for today and tomorrow. And while the Blue Ridge Parkway does indeed freeze a pastoral moment in Appalachian history, the impetus behind the highway was not so altruistic, as Ms. Whisnant's narrative points out.